Gogo installs its first 5G antennas on towers within the US

On-board broadband internet provider Gogo announced Tuesday that it has installed its first two 5G antennas on a tower in the US to expand its 5G air-to-ground network and on-board services.

The company will now begin testing its systems, and Dave Glenn, Senior Vice President of Customer Operations at Gogo, said Gogo 5G would be the fourth nationwide air-to-ground network the company has developed and built.

“Using this first ground-based antenna and leveraging our unparalleled ATG experience over 28 years will allow us to validate our design for a smooth product and service launch,” said Glenn.

Mike Syverson, senior vice president of engineering at Gogo, stated that the company had previously worked on 5G aircard prototypes and conducted tests on a coast-to-coast flight with belly-mounted 5G antennas. Gogo has succeeded in connecting 5G antennas on the ground tower with 5G antennas in an aircraft.

The company has already conducted other tests on 5G, including an “end-to-end call with a 5G SIM card, from onboard equipment to cellular site, through the data center to the internet and back.”

“We checked whether our systems could communicate with one another. The antennas can communicate with the cellular site, which in turn can communicate with the data center. There’s a lot of software development going on to put these pieces together, and it all works very well, “said Syverson.

Gogo is working to expand its 5G network to all aircraft flying within the adjacent US and plans for its 5G network to be available sometime in 2022.

Gogo announced in 2019 that it would build a 5G network for business and commercial aviation using the 250+ towers it controls in the United States. The 5G initiatives are part of a larger effort by the company to expand its services so that it can support more airlines and process more data from flights.

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